According to the advice notes, on 8 May, at 1300, Viking Star (flying the flag of Malta) is going to call at Gdynia, marking the beginning of this year’s cruise ship season. It is going to be the first of her ten visits this year.
Launched in June 2014, a relatively small (227.2 metres) vessel with up to 930 passengers accommodated, Viking Star is one of the state-of-the-art cruise ships put in service recently. With the crew-to-passengers ratio of 1:2, the Viking Star vessels represent the group of small, luxurious ships. Apart from the usual amenities, it features two swimming pools. The main one has a retractable roof used in case of adverse weather conditions. The innovative ‘infinity pool’ extends beyond the stern and has a glass wall. During this year’s season, Viking Star’s sister ship – Viking Sea – is too going to visit Gdynia, too.
In comparison with the last year’s season, when various passenger ships (flying Italian, Maltese, Bahama Islands’ flags) called at Gdynia 45 times, this year we will see as many as 56 ‘floating hotels’. The average length of the ships is going to increase by over 10 metres (from the last year’s 226.15 metres to 237.78 metres).
The most frequent visitors at the French Quay (10 visits) will be Viking Star and AIDAdiva – last year’s most frequent visitor, which has revolutionised the cruise ship industry. It is the first vessel of the class to remove the theatre, which is the form of entertainment most often associated with cruise ships. Instead, the ship owner used the space for sport and recreation facilities.
The longest cruise ships to enter our port this year will be our good friend MSC Poesia, which is going to visit us only once this year – on 25 August. Flying the flag of Panama, the vessel is 293.8 metres long. Built in 2008 in Aker Yards shipyard in France, it can accommodate 3000 passengers and 987 crew. MSC Poesia boasts an Italian-style interior in brass and marble. The cruise ship had been the flagship of the company until she was displaced by MSC Fantasia.
Those interested in taking photos of cruise ships will surely be awaiting the two visits from Mein Schiff 5 during its maiden voyage in July. The first visit of this second longest (along Mein Schiff 4) vessel – 293.3 metres – is scheduled for 8 July. Last year, its sister ship Mein Schiff 4 had also visited our port for the first time a month into her maiden voyage.
This year’s season ends on 6 October with the departure of the Italian cruise ship AIDAvita